Tennessee Judge Behind Bars After Cocaine Test Findings

Tennessee Judge Behind Bars After Cocaine Test Findings

After testing positive for cocaine while out of custody awaiting trial on accusations of coercion of a witness and harassment, a Tennessee criminal court judge had her bond revoked and was placed in jail on Wednesday.

Online records revealed that Melissa Boyd, the judge of Shelby County Criminal Court, was taken into custody in Memphis. According to court documents, a judge in Memphis earlier on Wednesday revoked her bond at a hearing.

The accusation against Boyd, who was elected in 2022, claims that she attempted, or was coerced into, encouraging Lashanta Rudd, her former campaign manager, to testify falsely or “withhold truthful testimony” in a formal procedure. There is no official procedural description in the indictment.

Boyd’s conversations with Rudd were allegedly an attempt to agitate, worry, or terrify her, according to the indictment. It is Boyd’s not guilty plea.

Boyd was placed on suspension in May following allegations that she had exploited her position as a judge to seek money from an associate, used drugs, and threatened her. Among the allegations is a social media post that featured Boyd donning a judicial robe and requested contributions for a school.

Boyd had to submit to a drug test and was instructed not to use narcotics in order for her release. After she tested positive for cocaine twice in March and neglected to report for a third drug test, prosecutors requested that her bond be revoked, according to court records.

Then, she was placed in jail after Judge Roy Morgan revoked her bond.

Morgan stated during the hearing that “a lot of effort has been offered, and it’s just not working,” as reported by the Commercial Appeal newspaper.

One of Boyd’s attorneys, Arthur Horne III, reportedly told the newspaper that Boyd “needs help” and hasn’t been cooperative, calling the judge “in a full relapse” and “not thinking with a clear head.”

The trial for Boyd is set for April 24. According to the Daily Memphian, the Tennessee General Assembly is scheduled to decide on April 4 whether to remove Boyd from her court seat.

Judges may be referred to the legislature by state law following two public censures.